The Church is simply not reaching the world because we have been too busy keeping Christians "inspired" in their comfort zone!
Over the course of the last 7 years my life has been radically changed and impacted by getting outside of the typical comfort zone of everyday Christian life. Far too often we get accustomed to listening to Christian Music, reading our Bible and praying. We add weekly church services, small groups and an occasional mission trip to bolster ourselves. But, in reality, we work hard to keep all of these things within our comfort zone. We stay comfortable with the when, how and why we attend, participate in and interact in these very things. If they don't fit, feel good or make us look good.... we simply don't do them!
The sad reality is that the Church, in general as I know there are exceptions, has done a stellar job of reinforcing this selfish and sad behavior. We come together each week in creative, inspirational and comfortable settings to reinforce this idea. We sing songs to convince ourselves that God loves us, we love each other and that somehow we have faith to live a good Christian life. We listen to a sermon that often times helps us create healthy habits, and is crafted to "meet us where we are".... our comfort zone! But, we rarely step outside of that setting and put these ideas and beliefs into action!
But, what would happen if we left the comfort zone? What happens if we put into action the faith we say we have, that we sing about and we listen to as it's preached? What happens when we decide we might have a small role in changing the world? What happens when we decide to become generous, selfless, motivated and honest? What can we expect?
What happens when we live the words of the Hillsong anthem Oceans, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters Wherever You would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior"?
What happens is..... we are stretched, challenged and pushed from our comfort zone. We face the reality that what we want to do, and what we are called to do are often VERY different.
If the church wants to change the world then we have to take our personal roles very seriously. It means we may have to step up and do things we never imagined. It means we may have to give, serve and interact in ways we never dreamed possible. It may mean speaking to your neighbor, literally! It may mean honoring your boss with genuine care and intention. It may mean speaking life over your children each day. It may mean loving and forgiving your spouse moment by moment. It may mean emptying out your savings account to help pay someone else's bills. It may mean moving to a new city or neighborhood just to be close to the people God wants you to serve. It may mean taking a mission trip, or moving to a new country. It may mean selling your nice, luxury car so you can be generous with the money you spent on the car. It may mean getting rid of cable tv in order to give more to your church. It may mean adopting a child, or opening your home to foster care. It may mean having lunch or dinner with a homeless guy, or even letting him crash on your couch. It may mean helping an addict find resources to kick their addiction. It may mean becoming friends with someone who doesn't believe like you, love like you or look like you. It may mean letting someone else have the spotlight, and serving behind the scenes without notoriety. It may mean taking a break, getting rest and listening to the voice of God. It may mean you cease being busy, and start being silent! It may mean forgiving the person who hurt you the most and offering grace and restoration.
In fact, I believe it is all of these things on some level. Each of us needs to leave our comfort zone. We need to step into faith. We need to move to action. We need to quit talking about our faith and how it will change the world. It is time we start living like we believe it.
It is time for the Church, and by that I truly mean the people not the organization, to move to action and start serving, giving and loving like Jesus!